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Distinguished Alumni Award


The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes extraordinary alumni whose achievements exemplify the values and ethos of the University of Michigan Law School. Presented annually to one or more deserving alumni, the award is intended to highlight individuals who have made an exceptional impact on their profession, community, and/or Michigan Law.


2017 Recipients


Bill Bogaard, '65

Upon graduation from Michigan Law, Bill Bogaard, '65, joined O'Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles and pursued a corporate securities law practice. He served as deputy commissioner of corporations for the State of California in 1966 and then returned to private law practice until the early 1980s. At that time, he joined First Interstate Bancorp, a financial services holding company, as executive vice president and general counsel.

Following First Interstate's merger with Wells Fargo & Co., Bogaard served as a visiting professor at Michigan Law from 1996 to 1997, where he taught banking law and securities regulation. He then taught securities regulation and corporations as an adjunct law professor at the University of Southern California while also pursing an arbitration practice. In 1999, he became the mayor of Pasadena, California—the city's first directly elected mayor. Bogaard went on to serve four four-year terms.

The Los Angeles Bar Association honored Bogaard as outstanding corporate counsel in 1987, and in 1997, the City of Pasadena presented him the Arthur Noble Award, its most prestigious recognition for community service.

Bogaard currently serves as chairman of Pasadena Bioscience Collaborative, a life sciences incubator and workforce development program whose partners include the City of Pasadena, California State University Los Angeles, Cal Poly Pomma, and Pasadena City College. He is a board member of Huntington Memorial Hospital and the Pasadena Community Foundation. He also co-chairs, with Doug Kranwinkle, the Arroyo Advisory Group, which the City of Pasadena formed to enhance and preserve the Arroyo Sec, its 1,000 acre "Central Park." 


Bill Jentes '56


JentesBill.jpgFor close to 40 years, Jentes was a principal litigating partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP acting as lead trial and appellate counsel in many of the firm's most significant business, commercial, competition, and corporate cases. He left the firm in 2004 to establish an independent practice as an arbitrator and mediator of significant disputes, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Jentes has served as chair, sole arbitrator or panel member in over 60 domestic and international arbitrations administered by the American Arbitration Association, its International Centre for Dispute Resolution, the ICC International Court of Arbitration, the London Court of International Arbitration, and the CPR International Institute for Dispute Prevention & Resolution, plus several ad hoc proceedings.

The arbitrations have involved a broad spectrum of disputes, both here and abroad, with the parties coming from 17 countries. The subject-matters have included complex accounting, contract, competition, construction, corporate, insurance, intellectual property and securities issues, among others, and have ranged across most major industries. In addition to his work as an arbitrator, Jentes has successfully mediated difficult commercial disputes involving a similarly wide array of issues, parties and industries.

Jentes, a civic leader and philanthropist in Chicago, also has been an active supporter of the Law School. He has been an adviser to numerous deans of the Law School, and taught at Michigan Law from 1991 to 2008. Jentes has served on fundraising committees during capital campaigns and championed the establishment of the Kirkland & Ellis Professorship, as well as a collective gift from Michigan Law alumni at Kirkland & Ellis toward the recent campus expansion and renovation project. For nearly two decades, he has funded the Jentes Scholarship Fund, which provides merit scholarship support to nine outstanding law students each year.